Remember when Whitney Houston died at the Beverly Hilton? The guests who had to deal with the media and police circus during that time (which was probably a million times worse than the Whitehall's commotion) demanded, and were refused, a refund on their stay.
Although policies differ from hotel to hotel and often times depend on the situation, a refund is usually not in the cards for guests who have the misfortune of staying at a hotel when a murder or another ghastly sort of death occurs. The simple reason? It's not the hotel's fault. In fact, hotel refunds in this scenario are probably much like hotel upgrades--it depends on the manager who's on duty and whether or not they can sympathize with your case.
A hotel may offer to soften the blow with some complimentary amenities or services or even a food and beverage credit but a complete refund back to your credit card is unlikely. If, however, the hotel was at fault for an emergency at the hotel--like a fire or an unsightly (and smelly) sewage explosion--only then may the guests be entitled to a full refund.
So yeah, for a bunch of reasons--emotional and financial--here's hoping no one dies in your hotel during your next stay.
Have you ever asked and received a refund at a hotel during a tragedy like a murder or suicide? Or if you work in a hotel, have you ever issued one of these kinds of refunds? Share your experiences in comments below!